Australian National Road Championships 2008
Criterium Championship incorporated in South Bank Grand Prix, Queensland, 2nd December
Reigning women’s national criterium champion Alexis Rhodes heads the women’s field to contest the South Bank Grand Prix which doubles as the National Criterium Championships and just the second time the women will feature on the program in the Tour's seven year history.
Rhodes has made this title her own for the past two years and will be chasing the ‘triple treat’. Her main challenge will come from Commonwealth Games points race silver medallist Rochelle Gilmore following her win in the inaugural Noosa women's criterium on November 3 and victory in the Oceania Games Road Race in NZ on November 18 which earned her an automatic start at the 2008 Road World Championships in Varese Italy next September.
Gilmore’s win in Noosa was all the more impressive after being confined to bed for the week prior suffering the flu and the effects of jet-lag after traveling back from Europe. “My expectations weren't high at all in Noosa so I was quite surprised but I’ve been back training I am hoping I can put in another good performance and give myself every chance to grab the title,” said Gilmore.
“It’s really important that we support these women’s events in Australia. Like the men we have some of the best female cyclists in the world. I’d like to acknowledge how appreciative we are to the event organisers.” added Gilmore.
Sara Carrigan, the road race gold medallist from the Athens Olympics, was a late withdrawal from the women's criterium in Noosa after having her wisdom teeth removed two days prior but is back to full health and training.
he Queenslander has put that episode behind her and now focussed on the upcoming South Bank and Surfers Paradise events.
“It wasn’t a nice experience getting them out and I was really disappointed about missing the event at Noosa but I’m back on track again and looking forward to the races, especially on our home turf,” said Carrigan.
Australian Lorian Graham showed just how determined and gutsy she is making the Australian Team for this years road racing championships in Germany and will again line up at South Bank where she made first return to professional racing last year since the accident in Germany.
Another member of the Australian Road Cycling team Nikki Egyed is making a name for herself in the cycling world after switching from triathlon just three years ago and will be a threat.
The women will ride for 30 minutes plus three sprint laps around the café district of South Bank, the event will get underway at 11am.
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